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Monday, 6 December 1999
Page: 12890

Mr LINDSAY (10:10 PM) —by leave—I refer to the recommendation of the Public Works Committee tonight to approve the collocation of the staff colleges. It is with a heavy heart that I support this recommendation. I am a member of the Public Works Committee and those other members who are here in the chamber tonight will understand that this was a very difficult decision for the committee to make. Australia's largest Army base is in Townsville in my electorate of Herbert. Many of the people at that Army base have been to the staff college so I sought their views. I asked them what they felt about this proposal to the Public Works Committee. Many of them wanted to see Fort Queenscliff stay because of the heritage and tradition of the place.

It is a magnificent location and the committee certainly put more effort into this decision than many of the other decisions, and rightly put that effort into this decision. But, at the end of the day, it was also right to make this recommendation to the parliament tonight. Having talked to the Chief of the Defence Force and other senior officers I know they are very pleased that the committee is recommending this to the parliament tonight. It was of course also recommended by the former government. I support the chairman of the committee in her recommendation to the parliament tonight.